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Later called Ötzi the Iceman, small samples from his body were carbon dated by scientists.The results showed that Ötzi died over 5000 years ago, sometime between 33 BC. It is found in the air in carbon dioxide molecules.
Carbon 14 is another, an isotope of carbon that is produced when Nitrogen (N-14) is bombarded by cosmic radiation.A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?Plants and animals absorb both C-12 and C-14 in the course of their natural lifetimes simply by carrying out these basic functions.When they die, they cease to consume them, and the isotope of C-14 begins to revert back to its Nitrogen state at an exponential rate due to its radioactive decay.The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.
There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.
Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.
The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.
Along with hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, carbon is a building block of biochemical molecules ranging from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to active substances such as hormones.
All carbon atoms have a nucleus containing six protons.
This property makes it especially useful in a process known as “radiocarbon dating”, or carbon dating for short.